New Cat- Need Your Opinion

jannieOctober 19, 2012

We had a happy pet household of three humans, one dog and one cat. Everybody got along,now I'm speaking of the pets. The dog and cat slept together, ate each others' food, were good "friends". Then about a month ago, my daughter who lives elsewhere and has 4 dogs , said she'd been feeding a stray cat (not a feral) and was looking for a home for it. We took him, he's a pretty white and red mix, young, and has gorgeous yellow eyes. He is very friendly to humans and loves "exploring" our house. We kept him separate from our other furpets for about a week, but now he has free access. He defers to our dog, but "stalks" our original female cat. He's much bigger than she is. . He follows her around, she gets nervous and growls and hisses at him. There have been no real fights as far as I can tell. Just noise and posturing. I'm not home every minute but except for the growling they seem safe together. Now for my question- he is unneutered. I plan to change all that in a couple of weeks. My vet has told me neutering will take away his sexual and predatory urges but he may still follow our female cat, and he'll still remain aggressive if that's his personality.I'm asking if anyone can give advice. Have you introduced a male cat to a female without aggression? I know he needs "fixing" for his own health. He hasn't sprayed and uses our two litter boxes willingly. Does anyone think he'll be more friendly or less aggressive after surgery? I'm afraid for our female cat. She seems fearful of him, growling and hissing. I don't want to give up our "boy" or keep him outdoors. Please post any advice/experiences you may have had. Thanks in advance!

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I've sort of been reading a bit on this subject. From what you're describing, it doesn't sound like aggression, it sounds like cats getting to know each other. They may need to be "reintroduced" as he may need a slower acclimation. Someone who knows how to truly introduce the cats will likely have good ways to a more peaceful resolution. From the article below, cats do not have the same reactions to new dogs as they do new cats and vice-versa. Congratulations on your new kitty!

Here is a link that might be useful: introducing tips

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Yeah....what Rob said.

And where's the pictures???

Not bragging but here's a picutre of the cat we rescued from death's door one year ago. He walked up to my husband on the street, a scraggly scrappy one pound 5 week old kitten.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 10:56AM
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My thinking was the same as Rob's until I got to where you said he's not neutered. I suspect there's a sexual element to what's going on, in addition to the usual "getting to know each other" stuff. I would have kept the cats apart until he was neutered (and healed). Any way you can get him neutered sooner than two weeks?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Dees, he is BEAUTIFUL!

Our oldest cat, Ara, is 14. Elmo joined when she was about 3, he was 9 months and a "hellion from the street". He was fixed within a week or else I think I would have strangled him, lol. Not mean but like a teenage boy on overdrive, lol. Stewie joined when she was about 5- Stewie was a kitten and fixed before he was 3 months old. Bugsy joined us last year, Ara was about 13 then. He was already fixed.

We did not specifically pick out Elmo and Stewie but when we adopted Bugsy, we did want a boy- we just felt like Ara would not tolerate another girl cat. All of our boys harass poor Ara.... she only has use for Elmo and only because he will wash her face for her, lol.

We have the hissing, posturing and occasional "freak chase through the house". I have learned what pitch of the noise means I need to step in- you will learn that too. For the most part, I think the boys picking on Ara keeps her joints limber. We also know when she "makes that noise" and we see a brown streak running toward us, that she has had enough and we will make them play elsewhere.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 1:04PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I do think the neutering will help some since he is still young.
I also did an introduction and the experience was similar but after a couple of weeks they were all fine together and sleeping in a pile. It was only the cats that had the problem not the dogs. There was hissing and puffing up and walking sideways and all of that posturing, but no real fights.
The cat whisperer says if you introduce them through a closed door by placing their food bowls on each side of the door then when they eat they smell the other cat and begin to associate it with food eating and good things so then when they are really introduced it is much less traumatic since they have a scent association.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Toni S

I still have the brothers and sisters to the cat I gave to Dee. All of them are fixed and for a few years they lived in harmony. About a year ago the two brothers started growling at each other and sometimes yawling loudly. Honestly, it seems they are just growly old cats to each other, sweet cakes to me. I havent' seen them in a fight thank goodness. Like humans, you can try to get them to like each other but there is no guarentee. I guess you can bring them together with training treats and cat toys but I'm guessing your guy is wanting to determine his pecking order.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 3:05PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

I hope you will have a good outcome after getting that boy neutered, but in my case, my boy cat, who was a kitten when he came, never let my older female have any peace. He was always chasing and annoying her. Unfortunately her last years were rough.

I do wish you luck.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Dees, your furbaby is gorgeous! I'm also bragging and hope my picture comes through....She was also a "dropee" and wondered onto our porch at a very early age..Our other 2 furkids weren't too happy but now they seem to all get along although the little one, Baylee" is the boss.....

Jannie, you've gotten very good advice and I'm sure in time, all the furkids will be fine...I also think the neutering will help settle him down...But, he's still a kitten and they are quite playful, lol.....Good luck.....

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 5:03PM
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Both beautiful cats!!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 5:09PM
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I don't have a digital camera but my daughter does. I'll have her snap a photo. He's very cute. Going to the Vet Monday. We'll see if that helps.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Neutering him will probably help, but I am all for letting them work things out on their own. I have a lot of cats. I have a couple that don't like any of the others and will slap them whenever they get near. It may take a little while, but they should settle into a co-existance, even if they don't end up the best of friends. But you never know...they might. And they may end up living under the same roof and barely tolerating one another. I do want to thank you for giving him a home. I just don't think there is any way you can help them to get along. Just don't force the issue and let them find common ground somewhere along the line.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 7:22PM
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I have 3 cats I got at different times. They all settle in eventually. Mine have never slept close together, always a couple of feet apart.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 7:51PM
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one of the reasons I've not gotten another cat...Precious likes to think she owns the place and is in charge...She hasn't broken in the new pup yet and he's constantly chasing her...I figure a couple of swipes across his widdle nose will get the message across!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:00PM
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My four are divided by two. Mother and daughter always lay snugly together. The other two are boyfriend and girlfriend but of course both neutered. Daughter Annie and Henry get into it once in awhile, but I let them settle it. I might yell, 'quit it'.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 2:19AM
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I doubt there's going to be much change, but I don't see too big a problem as yet. They're new to each other and he's inquisitive. She sounds like instead of really being bothered it's more of the "MOM!!! He's LOOKING AT ME!!!!!" type of a thing. My sister's neutered male cat was over the one time and really liked my cat, but she did *not* like that he wanted to sniff her butt so much!

Even with the chasing, as said you'll know the difference in sounds after a bit but often some cats like to scream bloody murder as they say and it's often just like kids that scream while they play. They're not in danger, just loud.

Good luck with the new addition. Give them some treats together and they often become good friends.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 9:43AM
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So how is it going? Has it gotten any better? Here are my two rescues, actually behaving. Right now, he's in a stalking her phase. I hate those. It just means he's not getting enough play time. Need to slow down and give him his proper prey (a mouse on a string he loves to attack on his scratching post).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:22AM
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He's at the vet now, he'll be home later today. Vet says it may calm him down, but at least my girl cat is enjoying a little vacation from him.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Aw. That makes me sad. I hope it calms him down plenty. Try to use this time back for him as a new reintroduction. Keep him secluded a bit more this week and try the suggestions in the link? I hope it works out for everyone. (((jannie)))

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:36AM
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We have 3 cats as well.....all introduced at various times.
It was bizarre......the first time Smudge and Bud met (both boys) they acted like long-lost brothers. Took to each other instantly.

Roxie came as a kitten and she is fiesty. They all get along, but she growls at them......they don't growl at her. She's not a morning person, she growls and swats at them every morning. After that she's fine.

Keeping them in separate rooms is a great idea. Put a towel, blanket, etc in with the new cat. After a few days put something of your other cats in with him, and put the towel out with the other cats. They'll get used to each other's scent.

Dogs are so much easier. Getting a new dog and taking him to the dog park with your dog and let them run around and play with each other. They'll become friends and then bring the new dog home!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:44AM
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You may have introduced them too quickly. Cats are territorial and also creatures of habit. Introducing a new cat to a resident cat's territory requires specific steps. It's generally done by the senses - smells first, then sound, then sight, then physical contact.

I googled "Introducing a new cat to another cat" for you. The link below will give you a list of articles you should read before you bring him home from the vet. If you follow the advice it should reduce the tensions, but it will take time and patience. You have to do cat to cat introductions very slooooowly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Introducing a new cat to another cat

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Keep us posted on the progress.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 2:51PM
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